Motivating Volunteers & Donors: Show What You’re About
General fundraising information like brochures and order-takers tell volunteers that there is a fundraiser ongoing, and shows donors what they can buy or give. But order takers and product catalogs do little to motivate volunteers to participate and sell or donors to buy. Sometimes, volunteers and donors need you to take it a step further and show them why you are worth their time and money.
A Deserving Organization
Supporters are never at a loss for fundraising groups asking for their money; and chances are your volunteers are at no loss for fundraising volunteer opportunities, either. Both donors and volunteers are faced with an excess of both and many times they are forced to choose who they will support, and/or limit their expenditures and donations of time and money.
You can help their decisions along or motivate non-participating supporters by proving to them that their expenditure of time and/or money will not be lost on your organization.
- Present a well organized, well thought-out plan for fundraising. This may be in the form of a presentation for volunteers, or it might be in the form of an appeal letter for donors. In your presentations and materials, show that you have targeted where the need is and what it will take to overcome it.
- Be specific about your need. Tell donors and volunteers exactly why you need to raise funds. Give history detailing your lack and need. Discuss what will happen if you can’t raise the money.
- Show a plan for the money. If you are raising funds, you should know what you will do with them. Volunteers will see how they will benefit, and donors will see that this money isn’t just up for grabs to the greediest of the group.
Brag about your past success and show that you don’t have a history for ‘dropping the ball’.
Benefits For All
Make everything you put out to volunteers and donors personal. Of course your biggest focus will be on achieving the goals of your group, but if you can find a way to add a little ‘here’s what’s in it for you’, you’ll do even better. At heart, all people are at least a little selfish. If you can show them that your fundraiser will somehow benefit them, too, then you’ll be the group they spend their time and money on.
Think both small and large to identify personal incentives; there is something that benefits every participant in some small way. It may be as simple as making that person feel good about themselves, or it may be a tax deductible donation. Extend your incentives to the larger picture too—maybe your after school teen’s group will keep kids off the streets and out of trouble, or maybe raising funds for school supplies will minimize local taxes.
When you are able to show that you will run a successful fundraiser and that volunteers and donors will not be wasting their money or time, and that the funds you raise will benefit all, your donors and volunteers will make you their organization of choice, and continue their support over time.
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